First Suzuki Institute—Stevens Point, WI

Rebecca Ark said: Apr 23, 2013
 12 posts

My family is gearing up to attend our first Suzuki institute this summer. My oldest is 5 and in mid book 1 and I have 4 year old pretwinkle twins. My husband is attending also.

I don’t know how many folks here go to this particular institute but we’re trying to figure out what to do about housing. We have a dorm option where we would need 3 rooms costing about $660 plus a full meal plan. We also have the option of doing a hotel and I think the cost would be about a hundred dollars less plus a modified meal plan.

The hotel is definitely cheaper and includes a continental breakfast, a pool, and private bathroom/fridge!

I’m still torn though because I feel that with young kids being close to “home quarters” is going to be a huge benefit, plus being right around the action is appealing. Does that even matter with kids who are that young?

Any thoughts or BTDT (been there done that) stories?

Thanks for help!

Gloria said: Apr 24, 2013
Suzuki Association Member
75 posts

Hi Rebecca,
I am a teacher who regularly attends institute, and so do my students. In my opinion, there is no ideal solution for everybody; maybe, considering the ages of your children, you can stay at the hotel this first time, and then later on you can try it at the dorm. I am sure there are advantages and disadvantages to each option, which you will not know until you have d one it yourself.
I am not sure this was helpful, but it has been my experience.

MaryLou Roberts said: Apr 24, 2013
MaryLou RobertsTeacher Trainer
Institute Director
Suzuki Association Member
Ann Arbor, MI
303 posts

Hi Rebecca,
Is it possible to bring a cot and get 2 rooms? When we went with 2 kids when they were 2 and 4, we stayed in one room. There is a lot of positive contact that you get when staying on campus, from the environment of having lots of musical families around. At a hotel, you get removed from the action. It depends on your needs.

Rebecca Ark said: Apr 24, 2013
 12 posts

Thanks! Mary Lou, they said absolutely only 2 to a room unless the kids were 2 and under. They said that after we buy the rooms they don’t care what you do with them so we may bring a mattress anyway as I’m not sure my 5 year old would sleep alone.

We are still torn, not wanting to be removed from the action but with younger kids the hotel is tempting.

Sarah Bylander Montzka said: Apr 24, 2013
Sarah Bylander MontzkaTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
200 posts

Hi, Rebecca!

Yes, the 2-to-a-room rule is a bit of a pain—if I remember correctly, it’s some sort of University/fire regulation thing.

We have 3 in our family: husband, 5-year old and me. We have stayed in the dorm at ASI each year. The great part about the dorms is that it gives you the full “immersion” experience. You’ll see friends from your classes as you walk down the halls. You’ll hear other kids practicing—which can be very inspiring!

I didn’t think our son would want to sleep in his own room last summer, but he loved it! We brought a baby monitor to keep an “ear” on him at night.

The bathrooms only have showers, so if your little ones prefer baths, the hotel might be a better option. Also, if your children are not comfortable in bathrooms with lots of stalls (like at an airport) the private bathroom at the hotel is the way to go.

The cafeteria is one of our son’s favorite things about institute. He loves having so many choices and carrying the tray.

The walk to classes from the dorms is still a LONG two/three blocks for tiny legs. Folks bring strollers, bicycles, scooters etc. to help. If you stay in the hotel, parking might be annoying and still a long walk.

I’m not sure that I’m giving you any new information—if you have any other questions, please feel free to message me. The one thing I DO know is that no matter what you choose, you are going to have an awesome experience at ASI!!

Rebecca Ark said: Apr 25, 2013
 12 posts

Sarah, that was super helpful. I think we are going to do the dorms. Might as well do the whole immersion experience! I’m excited—especially not to have to share a bed with a wriggly child. :)

Kim said: Apr 28, 2013
 39 posts

Just to be different, we went to ASI last year and stayed in a hotel. If your family is driving in and you’re bike or scooter friendly, there are certainly hotel options in range. We had a parking permit and could just park on campus for the day too. There were many, many institute kids at the hotel. We typically ate lunch on campus with the ASI kids, and we had flexibility for dinner. I think there is a bunch of walking involved no matter what option you do.

When I was a kid, we went to ASI a number of years. We stayed in the dorms and stayed off campus when I was a kid. Both experiences were good.

We’re still debating if we’re going to make it this year! :) If we do, we will definitely be staying in a hotel again. My kids were 11 and 7 last year.

Sarah Bylander Montzka said: Aug 10, 2013
Sarah Bylander MontzkaTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
200 posts

Hey, Rebecca.

How did it go?

Rebecca Ark said: Aug 20, 2013
 12 posts

Really great! It was intense and exhausting for the kids (and us) but one of them threw a tantrum when we got home saying that she didn’t want to live in our house anymore and would rather live at violin camp forever. I guess that says it all!

We did stay in the dorms and don’t regret it. Naps were difficult since the walls are thin and the beds weren’t exactly comfortable but it was close to the dining hall and worked out for us.

Thanks everyone for your help!

Sara Timcak said: Nov 11, 2013
 1 posts

The Stevens Point hotel you are thinking of is likely SOO close to campus and with the walk from the dorm to the Fine Arts Building is pretty long anyway. If your kids would enjoy a pool, stay at a hotel, just book early. UWSP is a pretty spread out campus.

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